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Maha is with Marathi-speaking people in Belagavi, says Shinde-Fadnavis

Nagpur: As the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row rages, the Maharashtra government on Monday reassured that it is committed to the Marathi-speaking people in the disputed areas while urging all parties not to politicise the issue.

After the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi allies and other parties raised the issue on the first day of the Winter Session, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke in the Legislative Assembly and Council, respectively, to reassert the government’s position.

Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition in Council Ambadas Danve initiated the matter in the house, pointing out how Shiv Sena MP from Hatkanangale, Dhairyasheel Mane and others were prevented from entering Belagavi (Belgaum).

They pointed out that this happened even after Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened a meeting of the two states’ CMs last week where he directed to maintain a status quo and not make any claims on any areas till the outcome of the plea pending in the Supreme Court.

“How can elected representatives be prevented from going anywhere,” Pawar demanded to know.

“Why are we being stopped? Are we living in Pakistan or is this the India-Pakistan boundary? How can Karnataka take this stand,” asked Danve.

Shinde said: “Let’s not get into politics on this issuea There are many other issues for that, but not this.”

Fadnavis said the issue is very important for all and the Marathi-speaking people residing on the state borders have the full support of Maharashtra, as the border-row marked a stormy start to the legislature session.

“Even the Centre never interfered in this, but now this has changed. Some of our people going to Karnataka have been detained by the (local) police and we will make all efforts to free and bring them back,” he said.

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